The parents of a 5-year-old boy have sued the city of Seaside and the Tiny Tot University Preschool over allegations the child was molested by a worker at the city-run school while in the restroom at Oldemeyer Center.
The suit, filed May 10 in Monterey County Superior Court, recounts the incident that was alleged to have occurred in March 2018. The child, identified in court papers as John Doe, was in the bathroom washing his hands when an unidentified worker allegedly approached him from behind, placed her hands inside his pants and underwear and fondled his genitals. Afterward, the suit states, the female employee left the restroom.
Seaside Police and the District Attorney's Office investigated the incident last year, but declined to press charges. Last May, Chief Assistant District Attorney Berkley Brannon told reporters that while the alleged victim and several of his classmates were interviewed, there wasn't enough evidence to bring charges against the worker.
"You can't expect a 4-year-old to take the stand in a jury trial and be cross examined and convince 12 people of something," he said. "You're going to have to have more evidence than that.
"There's many times we think it did happen, but we have to be able to prove it," Brannon said.
The city of Seaside rejected a claim filed by the parents last year, setting the stage for the civil suit. In that claim, the parents state their son hasn't recovered from the emotional and psychological injury of the molestation. The alleged perpetrator is no longer employed at the school.
The case is due in court for a management conference on Sept. 10.